Mosquito Grizzly Bear’s Head Leanman First Nation chief and council hosted a busy band meeting on June 12.
The meeting included words and updates form chief and council on their respective portfolios, and the honouring of Elder Jenny Spyglass as the first female elder appointed to the Battlefords Agency Tribal Council/Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Senate.
The new chief, Tanya Aguilar-Antiman, and councillors Laurie Ann Moosomin, Deborah Stone, Brenda Mosquito, Tristan Bird and Kyle Stone were elected earlier this year.
“We want to move forward in a positive direction and make sure that everybody’s voices are heard,” Moosomin said, including the voices of elders, youth and band members.
Aguilar-Antiman said the band members she’s talked to want transparency and accountability.
“We need to demonstrate [transparency and accountability] and we need to walk the talk,” she said.
She added communication is a two-way street for community members and chief and council.
Grandchildren and unborn children are among those for whom the band should work together, Aguilar-Antiman said.
The band meeting included the announcement of drug and alcohol test results chief and council underwent. Chief and council passed the tests.
Elder Jenny Spyglass was honoured at the meeting as senator, which band manager Michelle Daniels called an important role at the tribal council level.
Spyglass was born and raised on the reserve and is a residential school survivor, according to a biographical information Daniels read aloud.
Spyglass began her political career in the mid-70s, and was councillor for 20 years, and chief for four years.
Some of Spyglass’s work for the reserve included negotiations toward infrastructure projects including the reserve school and the band office, and an urban land purchase which led to the Gold Eagle Casino.
Spyglass has numerous grandchildren, and she encouraged students to finish school, and for First Nations women to enter politics.
During the public portion of the meeting, band members including Glenn Moosomin asked a number of questions to chief and council and raised a number of concerns regarding financial matters.
Moosomin was in the news two years ago as he appealed the April 2017 election on the First Nation.
Other public comments encouraged parents to send their children to the reserve school and suggestions that Mosquito become a dry reserve.